|Promoting a Successful Transition to Middle School
by Patrick Akos, J. Allen Queen, and Christopher Lineberry
Published by Eye on Education
An Overview of School Transitions
|Becoming A Successful Urban Teacher
David F. Brown
Co-Published by Heinemann and NMSADave F. Brown, professor at West Chester University, Pennsylvania, has recently completed another book for Heinemann, co-published by National Middle School Association titled, Becoming A Successful Urban Teacher. Dave conducted interviews with 13 urban teachers from first grade through twelfth grade from 7 urban centers throughout the United States: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wichita, and Minneapolis. Teachers speak about issues such as classroom management, identifying learning needs, effective instructional strategies, getting along with colleagues, principals, and caregivers, and that challenging first year in an urban school. Dave provides recent research on culturally responsive teaching from researchers Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Lisa Delpit, Eugene Garcia, and Gary Howard, as well as others and connects this knowledge base to the stories told by these 13 teachers to provide genuine strategies for teachers to use daily. The book is intended for preservice as well as novice inservice and student teachers who struggle with the transition of entering the profession as an urban teacher.
|From the Desk of the Middle School Principal:
Leadership Responsive to the Needs of Young Adolescents
Kathleen M. Brown and Vincent A. Anfara, Jr.
Published by Scarecrow Education, Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN 0-8108-4390-0 cloth
ISBN 0-8108-4384-6 paperBeyond their own walls, middle schools are having a profound effect on the entire range of American schooling, K-12. The middle school’s emphasis on the characteristics and interests of young adolescents, the importance of a close-knit school community, the accommodation of diversity, the teaming of teachers, and integration of curriculum have found their way into many elementary and secondary schools as well.Specifically, this book focuses on the importance of school leadership grounded firmly in the belief that schools should be responsive to the developmental needs of their students. The distinct nature of the middle school, the appropriate responses that are required from middle school principals, and a model of developmentally responsive leadership are explored. This emphasis on school leadership is not atypical since most educational research dealing with school improvement arrives at the conclusion that excellence in education cannot be attained without effective school leadership.
The importance of such a book is heightened because of recent events. These include: (1) indictments that have been levied against a less than rigorous curriculum resulting in poor student achievement at the middle level, (2) the realization and admission that most middle schools have become so in “name only,” and (3) the recognition that one of the missing elements in middle school reform is the adequate preparation of both middle level teachers and administrators.
The heart of this book-Chapters 2 through 8-describes the strategies and related practices employed by middle level principals who are struggling with implementing the middle school concept in their schools. These seven chapters are divided into three sections: responsiveness to students (Chapters 2-4), responsiveness to teachers (Chapters 5-6), and responsiveness to school and community (Chapters 7-8). This organizational structure forms the framework for our model of developmentally responsive leadership that is presented in Chapter Nine.Chapter Nine develops a model for middle school principals-a model grounded in the new paradigm of developmentally responsive leadership and school improvement. Recent studies support the conclusion that for school reform to occur, effective leadership is essential. Our model incorporates the qualities of effective leadership disclosed by our sample of middle school principals and delineated in Chapters Two through Eight. Look for From the Desk of the Middle School Principal, with cover comments by experts John Lounsbury, Walt Grebing and Ron Williamson, to be in print by September.